If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, I welcome you to change your life. Acknowledging your desire for positive change is easy — the difficult task is of course, where do you begin?
A good first step is to assess where you are in life. Is there something specific causing you to feel unsatisfied, powerless, or insignificant? Do you feel like this all the time, or only some of the time? Can you pick out a pattern in your emotions? For example, do you feel great on Friday afternoons before the weekend but then feel horrible on Monday mornings when you must return to work?
If that pattern sounds familiar, you may be suffering from job stress. This doesn’t necessarily mean you’re experiencing “burn out” at a high-demand job. Maybe you’re sauntering along, unchallenged at a job where your workday is spent in a state of boredom — and the stress results from watching the clock all day. Or maybe your employer doesn’t respect your personal contributions and fails to fully compensate you for your hard work. Then again, it could simply be that your job is seemingly unimportant in the grand scheme of the world, and it would have no serious impact whether you choose to work 60 hours a week or only six hours a week.
I’m not suggesting that your job is the sole reason you are unsatisfied with the life you’re leading — other aspects of life certainly come into play. The reason I am focusing specifically on changing your life by changing your job is because a large majority of people equate the two.
Are you someone who equates your life and your job? If so, don’t feel ashamed of feeling this way — you’re certainly not alone in your thinking, as there are many logical reasons that cause your brain to make this connection. The two most obvious reasons you would believe your job is your life are:
- Nearly 40% of your waking life is spent working a full-time job.
- When asked what you do, you identify yourself using your job title.
In addition to these, there is often an underlying idea in your subconscious making the same connection. If your true calling is to be a musician, but you work bagging groceries, then this subconscious desire is contributing to your feeling of discontent. You know in your heart that what you’re doing to earn a living is not what you truly want to do with your life, and consequently your desire is longing for you to do what you love instead. The desire makes you question your current existence and dream of a better life for yourself.
Consequently, what you do as your occupation has significant influence over who you are as an individual. If you aren’t passionate about the work that you do, you may be miserable because of it. Your job is therefore likely to be the most fundamental area of your life that requires positive change.
So what’s the next step? Get another job, right? Unfortunately, you can’t be so quick to believe starting a new job is the best solution. In my case, it certainly wasn’t.
After college I began working full time as “the computer guy.”
It seemed like the logical step to take. While working towards my degree in Computer Science, I gained some experience in the computer industry interning at a computer consulting firm. The work was challenging, the demand for work was high, and I was good at it.
Something wasn’t right, though. I struggled to get out of bed every morning, I was unmotivated at work, and I was generally unhappy with my life. Within one year, I left the consulting firm in search of something better.
At the time, I was looking in the wrong places. Under the belief that I could deliver my talents directly, I began doing freelance computer support. The strange thing was, whenever business opportunities came my way, I didn’t pursue them. I would later learn this was due to a lack of passion for the work involved — I preferred to ignore the opportunities because I didn’t enjoy doing freelance work.
With the hope that I could make money quickly, I tried a short stint as a professional gambler. One month later I was several grand in the hole, and decided to cut my losses and return to the low-risk, low-reward lifestyle of “the computer guy.”
Since I quit my previous job outright, I was too embarrassed to ask for my old job back. Consequently, I spent nine months interviewing for positions in the computer industry. My unenthusiastic demeanor during interviews often put me out of the running for the position, and I eventually had to accept a job in local government with a pathetic starting salary.
My point is that job-hopping was not the answer to my problem. In fact, the problem was never even at the fault of the jobs I worked — it was always my inability to be true to myself.
I knew I didn’t enjoy working in the computer industry. I tried it, but didn’t like it. Why then, would I believe that I could find happiness through a different computer job? Why didn’t I try something else?
Because I was naive, comfortable, confused, and afraid. I didn’t want to step outside of my comfort zone. I didn’t want to start over and have to discard everything I’d already done. I didn’t want to begin as an amateur and risk the embarrassment of being booed off stage. I was terrified of actually living.
It took two more years working as “the computer guy,” hiding from life, before I understood what would happen if I kept it up: I would continue growing older, and the opportunity to change my life would continue getting shorter. Aware of how my life would not improve unless I began creating positive change on my own, I left home with a plan to reinvent myself.
I’m a writer now — or at least, it’s my goal to be one. I want to write things that people can relate to. I want my writings to help people recognize how it’s never too late to change direction in life. I want to help inspire people to create positive change in their own lives, follow their true calling, and experience a more fulfilling lifestyle every day.
So if your current life leaves you unfulfilled, if your talents aren’t being put to use, or if your purpose in life is being trampled by your job, then tell yourself that you’re capable of so much more. Remember, acknowledging the need for change is only the first step. The next step involves choice.
Do yourself a favor and choose to start living — once I made this choice, I only wished I made it sooner.
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